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Intalling a Trem in a Strat-copy guitar

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hi guys! I verrry green newbie here! I'm from MN, and I'm a teacher and player of guitar....but I'm extremely new to repair/installation...well, new to pretty much any work at all on modifying a guitar, but I want to learn and I was told this was the place to come!

Anyway.....I've got a strat-copy body, that I pulled all of the electronics out of and re-painted....painting went fine, thanks for asking B) ....so I removed the 'old-school' style 6-screw trem from the guitar and I ordered a new wilkinson/gotoh replacement one (same six-screw style). My question is: when I install the new bridge...do you screw those 6 screws in ALL the way (flush with the guitar body), or do you leave a little leway there for the trem to float between? I'm very confused....so confused in fact, that maybe my post doesn't even make sense! :D ...hopefully it does though! Any help at all would me much appreciated, thanks guys!


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those screws adjust the height of the bridge, and that is determined by the action on the neck(space between strings and the fretboard-lower action is easier to play), so the bridge has to be at a certain level so the strings are playable on the neck. You probably have a bit of room to play with, if you find with the right action the bridge is to low to allow any trem work, then you can lower each saddle onto the bridge a bit then increase the height of the bridge to compensate and that may give it some more room, but then you may have 12 little adjustment screws digging into your palm.

honestly, one of the main recommendations we give out here alot when people are starting with a guitar... is have the bridge and neck in your hands before you do anything else.. cause then you know what you have to accomodate/design around in the body.

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derek kinda missed what you're asking I think!?!

BTW welcome to the forum :D

This is a largely preference but typically you DO NOT want to screw those in as tight as you can because it will restrict the tremolo from being able to move. But if you'll never use the tremolo it's actually not a bad idea because it will slightly help bind the resonance of the guitar string, bridge and body.

Now I personally break all the rules. B)

I set those screws at about 1/8" and also back the trem spring screws out enough to allow the back of the trem to float about 3/8" above the body. This gives more ability to pull up on the trem and acts more like a floating system.

Then do a setup that always results in having to drop the bridge saddles down and back a bit for action and intonation.

hope it helped.


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